What to Wear to Your Family Session | Calgary Family Photography Studio
Booking your session was easy, deciding on the location was a no brainer but now panic has set in. What do you wear to your family photography session? Don’t worry, I’ve got you covered!
Your clothing will not make or break your session, but it can impact the overall feel of your final portraits. Your family session is a big investment in time and money so you want to make sure that you consider the wardrobe that each of you will wear. These family photographs will be displayed on the walls throughout your home and shared with family and friends, so you will want portraits that reflect each family member’s personality and style but still have cohesiveness in the images as a family. No need to feel overwhelmed as this can easily be done by following the simple guidelines I have provided for you below.
1. Pick a similar color theme, not matching outfits.
When families wear clothing with a harmonious color palette, it can result in final portraits that look and feel naturally balanced as well as cohesive! Darker tones are often very flattering on most body types and can really enhance each family members face in your final portraits. Choosing neutral tones with a few pops of color or a softer palette that has different ranges in tone of the same shades is a great starting point. Keeping your color theme to 1-3 colors maximum will also help narrow down your selections. I usually start with having mom pick out what makes her feel most confident and then plan the rest of the family outfits around her!
2. Keep it simple.
Your family photography session should be relaxed and most importantly fun so wearing clothes that make you feel comfortable but confident are always the way to go. This will also help achieve the most natural photographs and reflect everyone’s personality. Solid colors work best but don’t be afraid to mix in some textures and patterns in the same color family. Try to keep accessories on babies and toddlers to a minimum as it can overwhelm them in the image and remember that less fussy, simple styles are always better!
3. Don’t be afraid to add different textures & layers.
Texture helps to give interest to the eye beyond the gorgeous smile that you bring to the session. Trying different necklines, sleeve lengths and textures will help add variety but not create strong distractions such as bold logos and large graphics (best to avoid this if possible). Perhaps try adding a belt, scarf, cardigan, vest, denim jacket or blazer. Family sessions with small children tend to move fast so layering their outfit rather than bringing a change of clothes can sometimes be more efficient. It’s a great way to get a different look but not lose their attention during a wardrobe change. Be mindful of children and accessories, they usually have no interest in wearing hats or scarves and will remove them.
4. Consider the location of your session.
If you prefer your session in studio, will you go with a lighter or darker backdrop? This will help guide you in what direction to go with respect to your clothing as you will want both the backdrop and your clothing to complement each other. If you like outdoor portraits, the location of your family portrait session should be chosen to reflect the places that suit your family or have special significance. With outdoor locations, you will also want to take into consideration the season and typical weather conditions you are likely to encounter so that you can plan for clothing that is most appropriate. For example, if it’s an overcast day you might want to re-consider wearing neutral tones and add in some color for contrast. If you are having fall portraits, perhaps you decide on wearing warmer tones to really bring out the colours of the leaves during that time of year. These are little things but they can really add to the mood and feel of an image when taken into consideration.
5. Don’t forget to consider where you will be displaying your final images.
It’s also important to consider your home décor and wall color in the rooms where you will be displaying your final prints. How will the color palette of your wardrobe in your final photographs fit in with the surroundings of your home? Do you prefer warmer tones or color tones? Are these images going to be placed in a casual living room or perhaps your formal dining room? Answering these questions can help narrow down your final decisions on the style and color of your wardrobe. Think of complementary color themes if you are wanting a more harmonious look to your wall portraits or perhaps pick an accent color for your wardrobe if you want to add contrast and interest in the room where you will display this family photograph. Your family photograph can become the highlight and feature in the room!
I hope you have found these guidelines useful in planning what to wear at your next photography session. For more inspiration on color themes to consider, feel free to browse my What to Wear Pinterest Board. There are lots of great ideas in there to give you a perfect starting point. I recently read a blog post by a photographer friend of mine, Michele Quattrin, who is a Twin Cities Family Photographer and the wardrobe of the family blogged in the session really speaks to what I have mentioned above. Great tones and textures providing some gorgeous contrast with the location they decided on! Head on over to her blog if you would like to be inspired!
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Jillian Faulkner is a professional portrait photographer in Calgary, Alberta that offers family, child, maternity and newborn photography both in studio and on-location. Jillian Faulkner Photography was established in 2010 and is an active member of the National Association of Professional Child Photographers.